CES is upon us and the cool, new announcements are incoming. Showing itself to be an early bird, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced a collaboration on a new concept for an automobile infotainment system powered by Android. Goody, another one.
All snide comments aside, this is not Android Auto in any way. Instead, this is FCA's Uconnect branding built on top of AOSP. The auto manufacturer claims that its "award-winning" system will maintain its current interface while offering the underlying power of Android. This means that it will have access to Assistant, Maps, and other popular apps like Pandora, Spotify, Pocket Casts, and so on.
Since Uconnect is limited to FCA vehicles, don't expect to see any other brands with this concept. This is not the first time that a large auto maker has partnered with a tech giant — just remember Microsoft and Ford with Ford Sync.
FCA will be showing off tech demos at CES, so if you are attending, go check it out.
FCA and Google are using CES 2017 to demonstrate a seamless integration of the award-winning Uconnect 8.4-inch connected vehicle system featuring Android, the world's most popular open-source operating system.
A hands-on concept demonstration of the power of combining Uconnect with Android is on display at CES, Jan. 5-8, inside a Chrysler 300 sedan.
FCA is in collaboration with Google regarding the next-generation connected car systems enabled by the power of an open platform and ecosystem of Android.
"This collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers' increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction," says Chris Barman, Head of Electrical Engineering, FCA. "With Android, we are able to maintain our unique and intuitive Uconnect user interface, all while integrating our easy-to-use systems with Android's features and ecosystem of applications."
CES attendees can get one-on-one demonstrations of the Uconnect system powered by the latest version of Android, 7.0 Nougat, which includes core infotainment features such as radio and comfort controls.
The Uconnect and Android integration also enable a system that is built for connectivity and compatibility with the universe of popular Android applications. The demonstration will show a seamless integration with Google Assistant, Google Maps and popular Android apps like Pandora, Spotify, NPR One and Pocket Casts.
"Google is committed to building Android as a turn-key automotive platform that integrates deeply with the vehicle in a safe and seamless way," said Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering, Google. "This collaboration with FCA brings together the industry standard for connected car systems with Android to create powerful infotainment systems designed for the digital age."
To visit the FCA exhibit, #6306, navigate to the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Thursday, Jan. 5 – Sunday, Jan. 8.